crimesider

​Tenn. sheriff pays ransom to access hacked case files

A server at the Dickson County Sheriff's Office in Charlotte, Tenn.

CBS affiliate WTVF

CHARLOTTE, Tenn. -- The Dickson County Sheriff's Office in Tennessee paid a ransom after a malicious computer program blocked access to their files, reports CBS affiliate WTVF.

Detective Jeff McCliss said malware on a computer locked the agency's case files, which included autopsy reports, witness statements and crime scene photos.

Officials think the malware came from an ad someone in the department clicked on while streaming a local radio station.

McCliss says the malware, called "Cryptowall," doesn't tamper with the files on a computer, but keeps them locked until a ransom is paid.

After consulting with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the FBI, McCliss said the Sheriff's Office determined the only way to get their files back was to pay the asking price: $500 in bitcoins.

McCliss says it doesn't appear that the office was targeted.